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KNIFE CRIME has doubled in South Wales in the past five years.

The latest figures from South Wales Police show that knife crime incidents have gone up by 100% since 2013-14.

From April 2018 to January 2019, there were 615 offences with a predicted figure for the end of this financial year of 738 offences.

The force’s latest performance and demand report shows how much crimes and incidents have risen or fallen over the past year and says knife crime has “significantly increased” in recent years.

In the 12 months to March 2019 there were 17,209 domestic abuse crimes recorded, an increase of 10.4% compared to last year. The force deals with 1,430 domestic related crimes every month.

Recorded sexual offences have increased by 8.4% in the same period.

There has been a 13% increase in recorded rapes, a 0.7% increase in other serious sexual offences and a 18.5% increase in other sexual offences.

As at December 2018, there were 12 incidents of homicide in the area.

Violent crimes have also seen a continuous increase in offences since 2014 with the figure for 2018-19 being around 25,000.

In 2018-19, the force responded to more than 30,000 mental health incidents, an average of 84 per day.

The report says: “This is lower than the high levels recorded in previous years, however; this is likely to be due to improved recording of mental health occurrences rather than a decline in the number of offences reported.”

Following a two-year period of decline, detentions under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act are increasing with 44.7% more referrals in 2018-19 compared to 2016-17 and it is expected this will continue to increase.

On average, about 4.5 hours of police time is spent dealing with each mental health-related incident with roughly 60% of the people already known to mental health services and these people have had on average at least 15 incidents recorded in the last 12 months requiring police involvement.

On average, in 2018-19, South Wales Police investigated and managed 28 missing person reports per day.

This is a rise of four per day compared to 2017-18 and a 16% year on year
increase in missing person investigations.

A fifth of these reports are missing children (aged 17 and under), many of which are looked-after children who live in care homes or are in foster care.

About a quarter of missing children are also said to be at risk of child sexual exploitation.

In total, there were 10,288 reports of missing people in the 12 months to March 2018.

The force received nearly 202,000 emergency calls in 2018-19 with just over 437,000 non-emergency calls. The average wait time for emergency calls was under six seconds and for non-emergency calls, two minutes and 43 seconds.

The report says that non-emergency 101 calls have risen consistently by 6% over the previous three years and there is increasingly a seasonal difference in the number of calls.

It says there were “unprecedented levels” of calls with July 2018 recording the highest ever volume of 101 calls for a single month at 44,329.

February 2019 also saw higher than expected volume of calls with 32,455 compared to 30,405 in 2018 and 28,587 in 2017.

The report says that South Wales Police is one of the top performing forces for answering 999 calls.

The figures will be considered by the South Wales Police and Crime Panel at its next meeting on Tuesday, June 4.

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